Driving south on I-25 between Loveland and Denver I nearly lost control of my rig. We were returning from a rally. The weather was perfect. The road was straight and dry. Traffic was heavy as it always is in that area. I was towing at my normal highway speed of sixty mph when the road surface in the number two lane (farthest to the right) pitched up and down in a series lasting about a quarter mile. This wave like surface created an unsettling oscillation and sway, so much so that I was only able to regain control by using the trailer brake controller to activate the trailer brakes. Iâ€™d already taken my foot off the gas pedal and so we were slowing, but the trailer was pushing our Suburban around. By activating only the trailer brakes, we were able to slow down and stop sway.
Some of you may think that if I had a Hensley hitch, instead of the Reese dual cam, that this wouldnâ€™t have been a problem, but youâ€™d be wrong. Later that day, Rich Luhr and his family drove the same route and encountered the same problem. Rich even anticipated it because he noticed the undulating surface and slowed down somewhat prior to driving into it. His rig has the latest and best equipment â€“ Hensley hitch, Kodiak disk brakes and of course his tow vehicle is a Mercedes â€“ canâ€™t get much better than that. My rig is all circa 1985 technology.
When we later compared notes, we came to the same conclusion. The only solution to that bad patch of road is to drive through it more slowly, perhaps at forty mph (the speed limit there is seventy-five). What we believe happened was that our trailers began seesawing and when the rear of the trailers went down the fronts went up, taking the rear of our tow vehicles with it. This effectively un-weighted the rear axles of our tow vehicles, causing the trailer to push instead of be pulled. Even with his Mercedes and its all wheel drive, the front wheels alone canâ€™t control a thirty-foot trailer (mine is thirty-two feet, but a little lighter).
Fortunately, we both arrived at Cherry Creek State Park no worse for wear. The park is still Five Star, even though the staff there was on furlough the day we arrived (the Governor recently mandated four furlough days for all State employees due to a budget crisis). Both Rich and I have commented in past postings about this park, but it deserves repeating. The RV sites all have level concrete pads, full hookups, and graveled picnic table and fire pit areas. The overall scenic appeal Iâ€™d rate at least an eight and in the fall perhaps a nine.
There is a lake for swimming, boating and fishing. The bike paths are simply the best in the world and can take you into downtown Denver and Aurora, or out into the country if youâ€™re so inclined. There are excellent nature trails and even a remote controlled model airplane airport, complete with paved runways and spectator stands. Outside the park is all the shopping you could hope for, in any direction. Access into and out of the park is straightforward because it borders I-225. Rates continue to go up though. That is the only downside, but it is still a better deal than any private RV park in the area.